Portia di Rossi opened up to Oprah yesterday about her battles with anorexia and bulimia -- during the height of which she consumed only 150 calories per day.
The gorgeous actress and wife to Ellen DeGeneres admitted that starring on Ally McBeal -- with other scary-thin actresses Calista Flockhart and Courtney Thorne-Smith -- only exacerbated her eating disorders that ended with her weighing only 82 pounds and at the beginning stages of organ failure.
So what was the moment that sent her over the edge? It was this innocuous comment by one of her closest friends:
You look like a normal, healthy woman.
Looking for external validation, Portia asked her friend how she looked in her infamous Ally McBeal stripping scene. Her friend delivered what she no doubt thought was a compliment. Here, Portia explains her reaction to the "normal healthy woman" statement:
It sent me into shock. Who wants to be "normal"? Who wants to be in the normal weight range? "Healthy" suggested that I was kind of pudgy ... and "woman" suggested I was curvy. But I wanted to be the skinny, straight up-and-down girl.
In other words, Portia's younger self took what was supposed to be a compliment as an insult. And I wonder how many other women would see it that way as well.
As much as I hate to admit it, I wouldn't be thrilled to have someone use those words to describe me for much of the same reasons that Portia used above. It's true that the standards for body size are so out of control even today that sometimes it seems like "healthy" and "normal" just aren't good enough.
Would you want to be described as a "normal, healthy woman"?
Image via Oprah.com